U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres now warns that the world faces a ‘’generational catastrophe’’ because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As of mid-July schools were closed in at least 160 countries affecting more than 1 billion students while at least 40 million children have missed out on pre-school. According to Guterres, getting students safely back to the classroom must be a ‘’top priority’’.
“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Guterres as he launched a U.N. “Save our Future” campaign.
He further added that, “Consultation with parents, carers, teachers and young people is fundamental.”
The U.N. recommendations for getting global education back on track come as U.S. President Donald Trump pushes for schools to reopen in the face of opposition from some teachers and parents while COVID-19 is surging in many parts of the country.
Globally the coronavirus has infected at least 18.1 million people and there have been more than 689,000 known deaths worldwide.